Autolyzed yeast extract
Produced by growing, harvesting, and concentrating yeast cells that self-digest, breaking down cell walls and creating a savory base used to formulate a multitude of different flavors (Annie’s Homegrown Products 1). Yeast naturally contains a small amount of glutamic acid, an amino acid also present in MSG (Kettle Foods 1). Those with severe sensitivities to MSG may want to enjoy foods that contain glutamic acid in moderation (Kettle Foods 1). We allow autolyzed yeast extract in our stores but do not carry any products that contain added MSG.

Used as a thickener in many products, carrageenan can be naturally derived from seaweed or created from a synthetic base. Regardless of the source, there are varying grades of carrageenan. We make sure that our manufacturers are aware of the different grades of carrageenan and verify that they are using only the highest quality available.

Caramel color
Caramel color might sound simple enough but it can actually come from both natural and synthetic sources. We refuse to allow synthetic caramel color in our stores.

Found in many foods of plant origin, cellulose works well as a stabilizer, thickener, bulking agent, or source of fiber (Cellulose Gum 1). In order for any form of cellulose to make it into our stores, we must know the initial source and it must be non-GMO. In addition we also consider whether or not the cellulose present in a product serves as a main ingredient or as an inert ingredient. Given that the body does not absorb cellulose, we will allow it in products where it functions as an inert ingredient (Cellulose Gum 1).

When it comes to corn, GMO contamination runs rampant. Before we allow any new product that contains cornstarch into our stores, we verify that the corn used to produce the starch comes from a non-GMO source.

Dry Dairy Powder
Found in prepackaged items like potato chips, boxed macaroni and cheese, and cheese puffs, dry dairy powder provides shelf stability and cheesy flavor. Unfortunately, dry dairy powder can also be sourced from dairy products derived from animals treated with antibiotics and hormones. Due to the difficulty in obtaining antibiotic and hormone free non-organic powdered dairy ingredients, not all manufacturers are able to continually confirm this information for us. At this time, Certified Organic ingredients are the only way to ensure powdered dairy products are both antibiotic and hormone free.

A breakfast and baking staple, fresh eggs sold in the cooler at Native Sun are always free of antibiotics and come from hens that are either free range, cage free, or pasture raised. We do our best to ensure that the same standards apply to the eggs used as ingredients in the products on our shelves.

Fractionated Oils
It might sound terrifying, but fractionation actually refers to heating and cooling oils in order to separate them into different fractions (Sugar Inc. 1). The separated fractions of oil have unique melting points that make them more versatile for use in recipes with coatings and icings (Sugar Inc. 1). Fractionated oils are typically found in protein and energy bars. Before allowing any fractionated oils into our stores, we verify with the manufacturer that the oils have not been hydrogenated and that no harmful solvents were used during processing.

Although we allow products with fructose into our store, we verify that this simple sugar found in fruits and vegetables comes from a non-GMO source even if it finds its way into a product as an inert ingredient. Sugar may not be the healthiest thing, but we know that every so often you have to surrender to your sweet tooth. We want to ensure that indulging your cravings doesn’t involve GMOs.

Often made from corn and other sources recognized as GMO, glucose has quickly become anything but a simple sugar. As with fructose, before allowing any product that contains glucose into the store, we verify with the manufacturer that it does not come from a GMO source.

Potential contamination with heavy metals, antibiotics, and other toxins suggests that bees aren’t the only species that should be concerned about the production of honey (Schneider 1). At Native Sun, we refuse to carry any honey, or product that contains honey, unless we can confirm the country of origin. We do not allow honey from China, India, or other Asian countries. Our first choice will always be locally produced honey.

A kitchen staple sourced from sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets, molasses provides added sweetness when baking or cooking. Sugar beets are a large and profitable GMO crop, forcing us to verify that any molasses in our store comes from non-GMO fields.

Modified Starch
Modified starches can be altered physically, chemically, or through the use of enzymes (GMO-Compass 1). The modification process allows the starches to act as gelling agents that preserve texture and serve as bulking, binding, and anti-caking agents (GMO-Compass 1). Determining the source of and process used to create modified starch can prove extremely difficult. We work with manufacturers to obtain non-GMO status on modified starches and do not allow them in any product in the store unless they are recognized as an inert ingredient.

Mono- & Di-Glycerides
Put simply, mono- and di-glycerides are common food additives most often used to blend ingredients together that would not otherwise blend or mix well (Be Food Smart 1). In many cases, mono- and di-glycerides are produced using hydrogenation, creating unhealthy trans-fat. If a product on our shelves contains mono- and di-glycerides, we have confirmed with the manufacturer that they are produced and processed without the use of hydrogenation.

Olive Oil
We verify that our olive oil has not been adulterated in any way and contains only 100% olive oil.

Rebaudioside or Reb-A
An all-natural zero calorie sweetener extracted from the Stevia plant, we allow Reb-A on our shelves as long as we can confirm its purity.

Rebiana or Cargill Reb-A
A zero calorie sweetener extracted from the Stevia plant. Found alongside erythritol in Truvia products, Cargill Reb-A undergoes a production process that involves harsh solvents. We do our best to verify the manufacturer of the Reb-A used in the products on our shelves.

The result of a genetic modification process approved by the National Organic Program, vegetarian rennet comes from microbial enzymes like fungi and bacteria (Hauze 1). We allow vegetarian rennet in our stores.

If we see the word “sugar” on a product label, we make sure to verify that it does not come from a GMO source. We avoid products that contain bleached white sugar.

Sulfur compounds that occur naturally during the process of wine making, sulfites can also be added to foods as enhancers and preservatives. Added sulfites are linked to many health problems and include compounds like Sodium sulfite, Sodium bi-sulfite, and Potassium sulfite. At Native Sun, we do not carry any grocery items that contain added sulfites. In addition, we make sure that levels of added sulfites in our wines are below 100 parts per million.

Titanium Dioxide
Titanium dioxide gives conventional foods like ice cream, cottage cheese, and milk their familiar bright-white coloration. In food, we only allow titanium dioxide as an ingredient in specialty items like vegan cheeses and creamers when all other options have been exhausted.